Archive for the ‘Inauguration Central’ Category

Daily DC Item: Police & Secret Service Finally Say Sorry

"The Purple Tunnel of Doom" courtesy of Flickr user chinycjo

"The Purple Tunnel of Doom" courtesy of Flickr user chinycjo

This week the Secret Service and Capitol Police finally issued apologies for the Purple Tunnel of Doom incident.

The apology comes over two months since Inauguration Day.

I saw the headline on WP and I was expecting to read about some kind of reparations but it was a simple apology statement.

Now I wasn’t one of the unfortunately ones that got stuck down there that day- but do you guys think it’s a little too little too late?

Hold Still and Say Cheese!: BIG Inauguration Picture

What’s the best way to get 1.8 million people into one picture where you can see just about everyone with incredible clarity? 

Well it better have a hell of a lot of megapixels, I’ll tell you that. 

Like this one right hereDavid Bergman took a 1474 Megapixel (would that be 1.47 GIGApixels btw?) photo of the Inaugural address from the north press platform.  The result is a stunning, large, (almost) endlessly zoomable work time-waster of a photo.  Click on the center and navigate around-or use the “Snapshots” bar below it to zoom in on things other uses have already found interesting.  My favorites so far (can’t link them, sorry!) are “invisible man” and “glitch in the matrix” (where clearly people were moving too quickly in their seats) and lots of people have already tagged themselves. 


Funny Or Die Hits DC For High Fives

Just when I thought I was done with the Inauguration beat the hits keep on coming!

The Funny or Die crew visited DC during the Inauguration to film the latest installment of their high five montages.

My friends at Funny or Die sent along word about the video and when I saw it, I was immediately laughing. Now I thought the first couple were great but the DC version includes more celebs, pundits, and politicians than ever! They definitely did a great job taking advantage of the influx of famous names in town for the weekend.

I’m a sucker for DC locales and they did a great job of getting high fives all over downtown. The list of names range from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to Howard Dean to even Newt Gingrich. Celebs like Jack Black, Nelly, and even Obama Girl make an appearance. I especially like the sinister looking Larry King.

Click on the image below to watch the video:

Inauguration 2009: Weekend of Destruction Day 4

Ah Inauguration Day, a day that started for many in the wee hours of the morning. For me I value sleep a little more. However I did have a plan to be on The Mall for Inauguration and I’m happy to say everything worked out relatively well.

I started out the morning well bundled. I wore many, many layers and had hand/toe warmers, water, snacks, and maps ready to go.

At 8:30 AM my friend Carrie and I proceeded down to the Clarendon Metro stop to check out that option, if everything appeared all right a possible entry route was to simple Metro into a station and walk to The Mall. While that option was the simplist it was also one of the most popular and I expected to see the Clarendon stop overflowing with people as we walk the short two blocks to the station. (more…)

Inauguration 2009: Weekend of Destruction Day 3

To celebrate Martin Luther King Day I decided to be less destructive and more helpful.

That morning I gathered some food and drove down to the Arlington Food Assistance Center where I did my part and donated to the cause.

I then spent the rest of the day in a quiet Inaugural fashion. I went out on a date that included making an Obama themed bowl at Color Me Mine and an evening viewing of Frost/Nixon. Very presidential. I have to say however that Color Me Mine was everything Lazy Monday said it would be.

Inauguration 2009: Weekend of Destruction Day 2

After a late night out Saturday I decided to spent Inauguration Sunday a little more low key.

I actually was thinking about the “We Are One” Inaugural concert kickoff but I previously made plans for lunch out in Tyson’s Corner.

Driving out to Tyson’s from Arlington was surprisingly quiet, I didn’t expect traffic leaving but I thought maybe with all the road closures that there would be traffic heading into the city. But everything looked smooth as Barack Obama.

I arrived at Coastal Flats only to hear that my original plans had fallen through. Well I decided to take the opportunity to enjoy lunch anyways (this time at Gordon Biersch) and walk around the suburbia that is the Tyson’s Corner Mall. (more…)

Woman struck by Train, Still Alive-Delays and Closures

WTOP is reporting that 68 year old woman fell on the tracks and was struck by a metro train at 9:30 this morning.  Thankfully she’s still alive.

The bad news for inauguration goers (other than the obvious fact that we don’t want anyone to get hurt) is that Metro Center and Gallery Place stations are shut down (as in you can’t get in or out there) and that the crowding is so bad people cannot get in or out of the trains.  Metro suggests Farragut North or Judiciary Square as stations to get out and then walk to the mall from-but at this point, if you were thinking of heading down there-the less metro you use the better.

Inauguration Coverage: Carmel, IN

Here’s my view:

I must say, it looks cold, cramped, crowded and awfully headache-y to be on the mall today.

And I sort of wish I stayed for it…

Good luck brave troopers and Inaugurites, I look forward to your making history on my TV.

Inauguration 2009: Obama’s First Flight

I’ll try and post my adventures from yesterday tomorrow- but to celebrate the eve of Inauguration I wanted to share with all of you this cool clip of Obama’s first flight on Air Force One (thanks to my friends over at Nat Geo for cutting and providing us with the clip.)

i thought it was really interesting that on his first flight he orders a cheeseburger- he’s so average joe!

Obama’s first flight on Air Force One

A Few Comments On The Inaugural Concert

We Are One concert courtesy of Flickr user Michael Foley Photography via Creative Commons

"We Are One concert" courtesy of Flickr user Michael Foley Photography via Creative Commons

Some of you may have noticed that my V-log of the Inaugural Concert never finished. As planned a large group of people (probably 20 of us) arrived at 19th & Constitution at about 5:30am. By that time about 200-300 people were in line, all of whom seemed to be fresh off the party. We waited in line until about 8am, the time that the gates were supposed to open, in the freezing cold. By that time, teams of army infantrymen and SWAT police were arriving and setting up camp along the perimeter of the National Mall and in the security tents through which every visitor would be required to pass. Another hour went by before the park opened, and pandemonium broke loose. Moving through the security tent was quick; all that was required to pass through was that our jackets be open and that our bags be placed on a table for a quick look by the personnel stationed there.

Waiting In The Cold courtesy of Flickr user afagen via Creative Commons

"Waiting In The Cold" courtesy of Flickr user afagen via Creative Commons

When the crowd exited the security tents it was a five minute dash across the Mall to the Reflecting Pool, where people rushed to the front and tried to stake their space. My group was in the front row along the barrier- our long wait was worth it. Throughout the morning, the area filled in all the way back to the Washington Monument. Everyone was literally shoulder to shoulder and tempers flaired occasionally when people tried to expand their space by sitting down and occasionally laying down. All in all it was a very boring wait between 9am and 11am, which was monotonous except for a few sound checks.

Unfortunately, one of the people in my party had a few unexpected seizures in a row just after 11. The army infantrymen and crowd control police nearby rushed in to help, parting the masses quickly and carrying him off hammock-style on a blanket. As they moved through the crowd towards the barrier, the crowd closed ranks so quickly that those of us who were with the friend with the seizure could not follow. It took us almost an hour to work our way out to Constitution Avenue again, stepping on a lot of people and starting a lot of heated arguments accidentally along the way. Once we had worked our way out of the crowd, we found a triage tent, where the medics on duty were helpful in pointing us to the Georgetown University Hospital, where our friend had been taken.

Photo courtesy of Alex Johnson

Photo courtesy of Alex Johnson

Those of you who were anywhere in the vicinity of the National Mall yesterday know that all the roads in the area were closed off by infantry units. A humvee was parked at each intersection spanning an area of at least five blocks in every direction of the mall and maybe more in some areas. Infantrymen in groups of four or more per intersection blocked off traffic and facilitated the massive amount of pedestrian traffic. Sufficed to say that getting to Georgetown University was a nightmare. From Constitution Avenue we made the trek through Foggy Bottom to the George Washington University Hospital. At first we wondered why our friend hadn’t been taken there, but it was explained to us that GW Hospital had been set aside as a mass casualty unit for the worst case scenario; I’m sure that Barack Obama would also have been able to find a bed if anything had happened as well.

Traffic finally resumed at Washington Circle Park (the intersection of K, Pennsylvania, 23rd, and New Hampshire). There we were able to hail a cab, but we sat in traffic for what must have been an hour on Pennsylvania and M. It turns out that our friend was alright. The seizures were determined to be random, and he is in the process of recovery in his own bed.

From the sound of it, the concert was unbelieveable. As we returned to Foggy Bottom late in the afternoon we were able to hear Barack Obama’s voice booming throughout the neighborhood. People were still streaming towards the Mall, though they were fighting the tide of those on their way out. Later in the evening I had the opportunity to watch the Concert on HBO, which turned out to be even closer up than the spot we had abandoned earlier in the day. Though that was a nice consolation prize, I still look forward to more success on Inauguration Day.

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